Wednesday, May 11, 2016

White Heat

White Heat is a downright brilliant gangster film which stood as a triumphant return for James Cagney's return to the genre. Cagney has perhaps his hardest gangster in Cody Jarrett who is a full blown psychopath to the point that he actually seems to rather enjoy the idea of killing, even when it is his own men. Raoul Walsh gives the film a visceral sting with his deft approach to the material, that never seems to shy away from the grimmer elements of the story. The film's main plot technically centers around an undercover cop Fallon, played by perpetual second fiddle lead Edmond O'Brien, infiltrating Cody's gang. Now this element is actually well handled in that it creates some very tense sequences, but the best element of the film is the character of Cody and Cagney's portrayal of him. What I love about most of Cagney's works as gangster is that no matter how harsh they are, and Cody is particularly brutal, Cagney manages to humanizes them so beautifully all the same without making the character seem soft at all. Though the ending of the film is a marvel, my favorite scene of the film is just before that where Cody sadly confides to Fallon just how alone he is in the world.


Calvin Law said...

Bump *wink wink* Cagney up *wink wink*? :)

Alex Marqués said...

"Made it Ma! Top of the world!" Brilliance.